Over the last 2 months I’ve spent many hours researching the best melatonin for kids because our daughter has been having trouble sleeping through the night.
I thought melatonin may be the answer to helping her sleep through the night.
But I wanted to research melatonin specifically for kids because I had concerns over its safety.
What I found were a ton of websites recommending the best melatonin for kids, but none of them were explaining why these were the safest melatonin for kids?
So I decided to figure it out for myself because if I’m going to give my kid melatonin, it’s going to be the best on the market.
Here’s a quick summary of about two months of research to find the best melatonin for kids.
Table of Contents
What Is Melatonin?
First things first….what is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies produce to help us fall asleep.
Our bodies are designed to know when it is time to release this hormone and exactly how much.
But because melatonin is a hormone, you have to ask yourself…is it safe to give my kid melatonin?
Is Melatonin Safe For Kids?
Unfortunately there are very few studies on the long-term effects of melatonin supplements in children.
And because melatonin supplements are unregulated by the FDA in the USA, you want to be very careful before giving a melatonin supplement to your child.
So before you decide to give your child a melatonin supplement, you should discuss this with your pediatrician to ensure this is the best option for your child.
Because there may be another solution that has no or little risk to your child’s health and development.
A study published by the Journal Of Clinical Sleep Medicine should make us all pause before buying melatonin for our kids.
In this study researchers examined the ingredients and the amount of melatonin in 31 different melatonin supplements.
Of the 31 melatonin supplements that were studied, 70% contained drastically different amounts of melatonin than what was indicated on the label.
How drastic are we talking about?
The difference was anywhere between -83% to +478% of the amount of melatonin indicated on the label!
Now let’s put that in perspective.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against dosages above 3-6 mg for children and states that many young people respond to small doses of .5 to 1 mg.
So let’s say you buy a bottle of melatonin to help your child sleep.
You think you are giving them 3 mg because that’s what it says on the bottle.
But in actuality the amount of melatonin could be 400% higher than the amount on the label!
And remember, melatonin is a hormone.
So you could be giving your child way more hormone than you think which could possibly cause long term problems.
This is why it’s so critical to do your research and speak to your pediatrician before giving your child melatonin.
And if you do decide to give melatonin to your child, make sure it’s the best melatonin for kids that you can find.
So how do you do this?
3 Steps To Find The Best Melatonin For Kids
As I mentioned before, Melatonin is sold as a supplement in the USA and is not regulated by the FDA.
So if melatonin is not regulated by the FDA, how do we know which products are safe?
The next best step is to look for brands that use a third party to certify that the melatonin is manufactured safely.
Fortunately there are 2 such organizations that provide this type of certification, the United States Pharmacopeia U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP ) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
Supplement companies can get USP and/or NSF certification to certify that they produce supplements in a safe manner.
Step 1: Melatonin With USP or NSF Certification
USP and NSF are the only 3rd party organizations that provide some level of certainty about how safely supplements are produced.
So I started my research by only looking at melatonin brands with USP or NSF certification.
If a melatonin brand is not USP or NSF certified, it’s off the list.
When I applied this filter the list goes from hundreds of melatonin supplement brands to just 13 brands.
Step 2: Melatonin Dose
The correct dose for your child will depend on what you and your pediatrician decide.
However, healthychildren.org (a website backed by 67,000 Pediatricians) provides the below guidance regarding melatonin dosage for children:
The melatonin dosage and timing depend on why and how you plan to use it. Start with the lowest dosage. Many children will respond to a low dose (0.5 mg or 1 mg) when taken 30 to 90 minutes before bedtime. Most children who do benefit from melatonin―even those with ADHD―don’t need more than 3 to 6 mg of melatonin.
Given the above guidance to start with the lowest dosage, I looked for melatonin supplements where the dosage was 0.5 mg.
Unfortunately, I could not find any melatonin supplements with a dose of 0.5 mg of melatonin.
Next I filtered the list of melatonin supplements down to only those supplements with a dose of 1 mg of melatonin.
When I applied this filter, the list of 13 brands gets trimmed down to just 2 brands.
Step 3: Melatonin Gummies, Tablets, Sprays and Liquids
The next step I used to find the safest melatonin for kids was to include the types of melatonin that would be easy for kids to consume.
This includes melatonin gummies, melatonin quick dissolve tablets, melatonin sprays and melatonin liquids.
I excluded capsules because those would be very difficult for a child to consume.
Once I filtered out melatonin capsules I was left with just 1 brand of melatonin for kids.
My Choice For The Best Melatonin Supplement For Kids
My choice for the safest melatonin for children is Natrol.
Natrol is the only brand that meets all of the 3 criteria I used to find the best melatonin for kids.
- USP Certification
- 1 Mg Dose